Contents
Main Page
Foreword
Introduction
Managing Water Resources
Food Security for the Poor
Health Problems of the Poor
Environmental Management
Strengthening Nuclear Safety
 Combating Illicit Trafficking
 Research Reactors
 Radioactive Sources
The Science Serving People brochure is available for download in Adobe Acrobat format
PDF with images (2,9 MB)
PDF with text only (1MB)
WorldAtom
TC Web site
Feedback
Sitemap

Strengthening Nuclear Safety and Security

The IAEA has a long and successful track record in promoting the safe application of nuclear science and technologies in its Member States. But the
possible theft or illicit movement of nuclear materials or radioactive sources by terrorists and those who would co-operate with them has recently emerged as a grave concern that warrants the highest priority of the inter-national community.

(Left) The security of nuclear facilities around the world has risen rapidly to high priority for the IAEA and its Member States since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. (Right) Security is tight at the Temelin nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, where security personnel check a vehicle at the entrance.

Responsibility for controlling the use, storage, and transport of nuclear materials and radioactive sources rests exclusively with national governments. The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material was negotiated under IAEA auspices, and has 71 States Parties. It obligates Parties to protect nuclear material for peaceful purposes while in international transport, but does not pertain to protection of materials in domestic use, storage, and transit.

Since the mid-1990s, the IAEA has launched several regional technical co-operation activities to help countries improve both their physical protection and enhance efforts to prevent illicit trafficking in radioactive materials—especially at major border crossings in Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. IAEA has established advisory services to help Member States assess the effectiveness of national radiation safety and physical protection systems. Since 1999, the IAEA has worked through the technical co-operation programme to enhance the safety of ageing research reactors and spent fuel storage in CIS and Eastern and Central European countries to reduce the risk of accidents and to improve security. Moreover, the IAEA has recently launched new initiatives aimed at helping Member States bolster both the security and safety of potent radioactive sources—in particular recovering, securing and recycling so-called “orphan sources” throughout the former Soviet Union.

The international community has recognized the terrorist threat and IAEA Member States are responding to calls for action. Clearly, far more remains to be done to ensure the security and safety of nuclear facilities and materials worldwide. But the following reports demonstrate that with the right combination of political will, technical expertise, international co-operation, and financial resources, sizeable advances can be made in preventing nuclear materials, facilities, or weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

  Strengthening Nuclear Safety and Security

Features
Combating Illicit Trafficking
Full Story...
Promoting the Safety and Security of Research Reactors
Full Story...
Working to Secure Radioactive Sources
Full Story...
“The tragic terrorist attacks on the United States were a wake up call to us all. We cannot be complacent. We have to and will increase our efforts on all fronts—from combating illicit trafficking to ensuring the protection of nuclear materials—from nuclear installation design to withstand attacks to improving how we respond in nuclear emergencies.”
IAEA Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei
WorldAtom
TC Web site
Feedback
Sitemap